Enforcement

Hunters Found by Good Samaritan and LDWF Agents in Pearl River Canal

Release Date: 01/11/2013

Jan. 11, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued a hunter and a good Samaritan rescued another from the Pearl River Canal in Washington Parish this morning, Jan. 11.

Stephen Leicher, 27, of Bush, and James Rogan, 26, of Bogulusa left out this morning for a duck hunt on the Pearl River Canal in a 13 foot vessel.  Around 5:15 a.m. their vessel had capsized putting Leicher and Rogan in the canal.

At 9:15 a.m. a passing boater noticed Leicher clinging to some woody debris in the canal and was able to get him in his boat.  Leicher was found near entrance of Ox Lot Canal.  They then notified LDWF agents about Rogan who was still missing.

At 10:10 a.m. agents found Rogan on the bank near Past Creek a mile in a half downstream from where Leicher was found.

Both men were checked on scene by Northshore Emergency Medical Services for any injuries and released.  Neither man was wearing a personal flotation device when the vessel capsized.

Agents participating in the search and rescue were Sgt. Darryl Galloway and Senior Agent Joel Cromp.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Orleans Parish Man Charged with Illegal Possession of Piranha, Alligator and Drug Paraphernalia

Release Date: 01/11/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited an Orleans Parish man for alleged illegal possession of piranha, a live alligator and drug paraphernalia on Jan. 8.

On Dec. 20, 2012 the LDWF agents received a complaint about an apartment tenant that possessed a live alligator and had left it unattended to leave for Christmas vacation.

Agents responded to the residence of Quinn Vanderbosch, 22, of New Orleans.  The agents were granted access to the apartment by a roommate and observed an alligator in a large plastic bin and a large fish tank with piranha swimming.

Agents returned to the residence with a search warrant to seize the illegal fish and alligator, as well as various drug paraphernalia left out in the open.

Agents cited Vanderbosch for possession of a live alligator without a permit, possession of a prohibited species (piranha), and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Due to the similarities with Louisiana waters and the piranha’s natural habitat, as well as the fish’s invasive nature, the fish are strictly forbidden to be possessed or sold within the state with the only exceptions being the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium of the Americas with an LDWF permit.

Possession of an alligator carries $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Possession of piranha brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of drug paraphernalia is determined by the presiding judge.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Jared Taylor and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois of LDWF and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Scotty Boudreaux.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Winnsboro Police Officers and Franklin Parish Corrections Officer Cited for Hunting Violations

Release Date: 01/09/2013

Jan. 9, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Winnsboro Police Officer, cited another Winnsboro Police Officer and cited a Franklin Parish Detention Center Corrections Officer for their alleged roles in the illegal harvesting of a deer.

Agents cited Winnsboro City Police Officer Chester Coleman, 34, of Enterprise, on Jan. 7 for taking a deer during illegal hours using artificial light, hunting from a moving vehicle, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, and hunting without basic and big game licenses.  Agents also arrested Coleman for malfeasance in office and booked him into the Franklin Parish Jail.

Agents also cited Winnsboro City Police Officer Joshua Martin, 31, of Winnsboro, and Franklin Parish Detention Center Corrections Officer Hunter Guimbellot, 22, of Winnsboro, on Jan. 5 for taking a deer during illegal hours using artificial light and hunting from a moving vehicle.

Agents were notified by an informant of an illegal hunting incident that occurred in Franklin Parish on Dec. 30, 2012.  Agents learned from the informant that Coleman, Martin and Guimbellot harvested a doe deer around 8 p.m. at the Winnsboro City Industrial Park. 

Coleman was on duty at the time of the illegal hunting activitiy and he shot the deer from his patrol vehicle with Martin’s .308 rifle.  The three men then put the deer into the trunk of the patrol vehicle for later cleaning.

Agents seized the .308 rifle and the deer.  Agents involved in the case are Lt. Scott Watson and Senior Agent Johnny Wilson.

Malfeasance in office is a felony and brings up to five years in jail and $5,000 in fines.  Taking deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle brings a $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting without basic and big game licenses carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.  Violating deer tagging regulations brings a $100 to $300 fine and up to 60 days in jail. 

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Two Livingston Parish Men Arrested

Release Date: 01/08/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested two Livingston Parish men for allegedly possessing firearms by convicted felons on Jan. 1.

Agents responded to an area off of C. Holden Rd. and Highway 1036 in Holden after receiving an anonymous complaint of possible hunting violations.  Agents observed two men coming from a wooded area without their required hunter orange on and with a loaded 12-gauge shotgun.

After further investigation, the agents cited Bobby D. Sykes, 38, and Barry D. Gill, 46, both of Holden, for failing to wear hunter orange, hunting deer with an unplugged gun and possession of a firearm by a person convicted of certain felonies.

Possession of a firearm by a person convicted of certain felonies carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Failing to wear hunter orange carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  Hunting with an unplugged shotgun brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. 

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Buck Hampton, Clarence Marques  and Garrett Kimble.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Barataria Man Cited With Multiple Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/19/2012

Dec. 19, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Barataria man for alleged night hunting violations in Jefferson Parish on Dec. 13.

Agents cited Noel J. Schouest, 42, of Barataria, for hunting wild game quadrupeds during illegal hours, hunting raccoons illegally, taking non-game quadrupeds illegally, and violating Nutria Control Program regulations.

LDWF agents were on vessel patrol in the Lafitte area when they heard gunshots coming from a marsh area adjacent to The Pen at 8:30 p.m.  They began surveillance of the area for several hours throughout the night until they observed Schouest exit the marsh and proceed to a pickup truck.

Agents approached Schouest and found him in possession of a .22 caliber rifle, two rabbits, one raccoon and 83 nutria tails.  Rabbits may only be taken during legal shooting hours of one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset.  Raccoons can be taken at night with the aid of a hunting dog of which Schouest did not possess.

After further investigation, agents found that Schouest was enrolled as an assistant in the Nutria Control Program, which pays landowners for nutria taken legally on permitted property.  Schouest was found hunting without the Nutria Control Program enrollee and illegally took the nutria after legal shooting hours.

Agents seized the animals and parts as evidence along with his rifle, which is subject to forfeiture.

Hunting wild game quadrupeds and taking raccoons illegally each carry a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Taking non-game quadrupeds illegally brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Violating Nutria Control Program regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail with possible disqualification from the Nutria Control Program.  Furthermore, restitution penalties may be assessed for the value of the rabbits and raccoon taken for a total of $91.17.

The agents involved in the case are Sgt. Jason Russo, Senior Agent Austin Arteaga and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Two Louisiana Men Cited for Duck Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/18/2012

Dec. 18, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men for alleged hunting and boating safety violations along Highway 23 near Triumph in Plaquemines Parish on Dec. 16.

Agents cited Christopher Hicks, 25, of Boothville, and Calvin Riggs, 34, of Buras, for hunting migratory game birds (MGB) with an unplugged gun and violating the non-toxic shot requirements.  Agents also cited Riggs for hunting with an unsigned duck stamp.  Furthermore, Hicks was cited for hunt MGBs without a basic hunting license, federal and state duck stamps, possession of an alligator during a closed season and failing to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements.

Agents were patrolling along Highway 23 and observed a vehicle parked in a wooded area and heard people talking near the vehicle further into the wooded area.  Agents then observed several subjects coming from a barrow pit carrying a shotgun and dragging a pirogue.

Agents made contact with the subjects and found several ducks and a small alligator in the pirogue.  Agents checked the shotguns and found both shotguns were unplugged and both subjects hunted MGBs with lead shot.

While conducting a license check, agents found that Hicks did not have a hunting license or a state and federal duck stamp and Riggs did not sign his federal duck stamp.   Agents also discovered Hicks had hunted MGBs from the pirogue without a PFD.

The penalties for hunting ducks without a federal duck stamp, with an unsigned federal duck stamp, with an unplugged gun, violating non-toxic shot requirements, and possession of an alligator during a closed season carry a fine from $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Failing to comply with PFD requirements, hunting without a resident basic license and hunting MGBs without a state stamp carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.

Agents seized and donated seven ducks, three coots and an alligator to charity.  Replacement value of the ducks, coots and alligator may total $605.96 in restitution.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Todd Laviolette and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Agents Cite Seven Men for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/13/2012

Dec. 13, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited seven men for deer hunting violations on Avoca Island in St. Mary Parish on Dec. 8.

Agents cited the following: Linzy Howard III, 44, of Morgan City for hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun and possession of an untagged deer; Ernest Singleton, 45, of Morgan City, for hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun; Joshua Williams, 25, of Morgan City, for failing to comply with deer tagging regulations; Derwin Hebert, 38, of Morgan City, for hunting deer with an unplugged gun; Arik Louviere, 17, of Morgan City, for possession of untagged deer and over the limit of deer; Johnathan Francis, 59, of Morgan City, for hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun; and Rodney Singleton, 39, of Houma, for hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun and possession of untagged deer.

Agents observed a large group of men hunting and approached them to conduct a license and compliance check.  Upon checking the men, agents found that only one of the deer in the men's possession was tagged and that deer was tagged improperly.  Agents also learned that five of the shotguns were unplugged and that Louviere had killed two antlerless deer putting him one over the legal limit in a day.

Agents seized and donated a total of four deer to charity.  Restitution on the four deer that were seized may be assessed at $1624.61 per deer.

Hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun, possession of an untagged deer and possessing over the limit of deer carries a fine from $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations carries a fine from $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Scott Dupre and Jake Darden.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Three Cameron Parish Men Sentenced in Federal Court for Illegal Shrimping

Release Date: 12/12/2012

Three Cameron Parish men were sentenced in Federal Court on Dec. 4 for their roles in illegal shrimping on the Cameron Parish National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

Judge Kathleen Kay for the Western District of Louisiana in Lake Charles sentenced Anthony G. Theriot, 37, Philip Lejeune, 50, and Jerimie M. Pugh, 37, all from Cameron, to $6,730 in fines and restitution and 30 days in jail for each defendant.

On Sept. 6, 2012, Theriot, Lejeune and Pugh pleaded guilty for commercial operation on an NWR, fishing on an NWR after sunset and taking over the limit of shrimp.  Judge Kay ordered a presentence investigation on the three defendants at this time.

On May 29, 2012, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents observed the three subjects place a shrimp trawl over the boat bay opening at the Grand Bayou water control structure on the Cameron Prairie NWR.  With the aid of a night vision, agents were able to observe and record the subjects tend and remove shrimp from the trawl.

The three subjects were subsequently apprehended and booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.  Agents seized the subject’s vessel, a 36 foot shrimp trawl and 631 pounds of shrimp.

Each defendant was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus a $70 special assessment for commercial operation on an NWR and for fishing on an NWR after sunset.  The men were also assessed $13,980 in restitution for the shrimp, which makes each defendant responsible for $4,660.

Each defendant was also placed on probation for five years in which they will not be allowed on any NWR.  Each defendant was ordered to serve 60 days in jail in which 30 days was suspended.  The defendants were taken into custody in the courtroom to begin serving their jail sentences.

Agents participating in the case were Sgts. David Sanford and Stuart Guillory, Senior Agent Carl Pickett, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Officer Dave Panas.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Second Black Bear Found Dead Within a Week

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in Pointe Coupee Parish.

A hunter alerted authorities on Dec. 3 about a dead black bear lying in the woods between the Atchafalaya River and Louisiana Hwy. 1 on property owned by RoyOMartin.  RoyOMartin leases this part of their land for hunters.

Officials found an adult female black bear weighing about 225 pounds dead from an apparent high powered rifle gunshot wound.  LDWF is estimating that the bear was shot and killed late last week between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1.

A cash reward totaling up to $7,000 is being offered to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction for this illegal killing of a black bear.  RoyOMartin is contributing $1,000 of the $7,000 total reward.

This is the second bear in a week that was found shot to death.  Officials found a dead black bear in Avoyelles Parish on Nov. 27.  A $6,000 reward is being offered for help in that case.

“RoyOMartin is in full support of black bear conservation in Louisiana and want to see the person who committed this crime held responsible,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF’s Enforcement Division.  “The department is aggressively working to delist the bear and make a legal hunting season for them, but each illegal killing adds time to when that could happen.”

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple App Store free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $25,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few simple rules.  If possible, a hunter encountering a bear should back away and proceed in another direction.  If a bear approaches, you should raise your arms over your head to appear larger and speak in a normal tone of voice to let the bear know you are there.  If the bear continues to approach, wave your arms and yell at the bear.  At this point a hunter could use bear spray to deter the bear's approach.

Hunters should also be aware that baiting deer with corn artificially concentrates bears near deer stands.  It is recommended that hunters either refrain from using corn for bait or use soybeans to reduce bear feeding activity.  Bear encounters can be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Two Men Cited for Duck Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents cited two men for migratory game bird (MGB) hunting violations along the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge on Dec. 2.

Agents cited Asaad Layous, 28, and Daniel Heckman, 61, both of French Settlement for hunting MGB during illegal hours, violating non-toxic shot requirements and hunting ducks without a federal duck stamp.  Layous was also cited for hunting MGB with an unplugged gun.

Agents received an anonymous complaint of people shooting wood ducks after legal shooting hours along the Mississippi River just south of Baton Rouge.  After setting up surveillance, agents witnessed the subjects enter the area via truck and quickly split up along an access road to begin calling in wood ducks.

Agents observed Layous and Heckman hunting well after legal shooting hours.  Agents made contact with the men and issued citations for the violations.

Each charge the men were cited with carries a fine from $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Davis Madere and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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